Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3764 ..
because the purpose of this clause is to allow people to say, write and communicate things which could be discrimination today.
These provisions will also have a chilling effect on people calling out inappropriate comments made at work, school or in the provision of goods and services, because the provisions are complex and allow discrimination complaints to be defended in expensive federal courts. The bill allows other laws to be overridden by regulations. For example, it would allow conversion practice legislation to be proscribed, protecting statements of belief that may amount to LGBTQIA+ conversion practices under state and territory laws.
Qualifying bodies that confer the professional qualifications necessary to practise medicine, law and other jobs will be prevented from responding reasonably to members who make offensive, uninformed, insulting, demeaning or damaging statements based in or about religion outside work contexts. Statements which undermine public confidence in a person’s ability to do the job professionally could be left unchallenged unless the body can establish that its requirement is essential to the profession, trade or occupation, or the statements are malicious, harassing, threatening, intimidating or vilifying or encourage serious events. This bill will leave professional bodies with little flexibility to consider whether statements made outside work contexts can nonetheless cause harm to colleagues or clients, or undermine public confidence in the profession.
I encourage all members and anybody in our community concerned about the Religious Discrimination Bill to jump onto the Equality Australia website—equalityaustralia.org.au—and click on Religious Discrimination Bill. The site not only provides some helpful resources but can also give you some strategic activist tools to campaign against it.
In my remaining 30 seconds, can I just say that the TV has been on in the background in my office today, observing federal parliament while we have been busy here working. It has been incredibly disappointing to see that the federal government has had an opportunity, finally, to legislate on a federal independent commission against corruption but has instead chosen to actively prosecute this Religious Discrimination Bill. We know that the federal parliament has the time to do one, but it has chosen to do the other, which makes this federal government’s priorities crystal clear to Canberrans.
Mr Kofi Owusu-Ansah—ARIA awards
Lanyon Homestead—Tripadvisor award
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.42): I rise this afternoon to recognise the incredible achievements of Canberra musician Genesis Owusu. Kofi Owusu-Ansah is a Ghanaian-Australian creative powerhouse from Canberra, better known by his stage name Genesis Owusu. He was born in Ghana and moved to Australia at a young age with his family. He is the brother of another talented and